Afternoon Coffee: Target Creating Custom Supply Chain Technology, Amazon Lobbying Lawmakers for Drone Use, Other Delivery Expansions

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Target is creating its own custom supply chain technology solutions to manage supplier ordering, demand forecasting and other operations. The retailer recently announced plans to invest $1 billion in improving its overall supply chain.

Amazon reportedly spent $10 million lobbying federal lawmakers in 2015 as the e-commerce company tries to build its own logistics network. Amazon is pushing for more uses of commercial drones as well as approval to use longer trucks, have better roads to drive on and to work closer with the United States Postal Service.

A new report from real estate brokerage firm CBRE Inc. said increasing minimum wages would result in higher operation costs for e-commerce companies. The group said a $1 increase in average hourly wages could result in more than $1 million additional annual operating costs to a warehouse with 500 workers.

U.S. Steel Corp. said it would idle plants in Alabama, Ohio and Texas in a move to cut costs after losing $1.5 billion in 2015 and as steel prices remain low. The cuts are expected to impact about 650 union and 120 non-union workers.

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